'Flex route' coming to I-96 between I-275 and Kent Lake: How it will work

US-23 Flex Route explainer from MDOT

DETROIT – Construction on a new "flex route" on I-96 in Southeast Michigan is expected to begin in 2021.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will host an open house-style public meeting on Wednesday to share future plans to convert a segment of I-96 between Kent Lake Road and I-275 into a "flex route" using the median shoulders part-time during periods of heavy congestion, typically during morning and evening commutes, for more capacity.

Ramp metering will also be implemented at select locations to control ramp traffic entering the freeway for smoother merging. Project designers and managers will be on hand to answer questions about this project.

Meeting info:

  • When: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, 4 - 7 p.m. 
  • Where: Novi Police Department - Training Room, 45125 Ten Mile Road

What's a flex route?

MDOT implemented a "flex route" on US-23 near Ann Arbor back in 2017.

The Flex Route uses overhead signs, cameras and electronic signs to open the inside shoulder to drivers during peak periods of heavy traffic.

A green arrow on the overhead signs will indicate when the median shoulder is safely available for use, and a red X will indicate when the shoulder is closed. The system will be maintained around-the-clock by the Michigan Department of Transportation's Statewide Operations Center.

Driving on the flex route when it’s not open carries a fine of up to $130 and/or two points on your license.

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